New York University journalism student banned from blogging on class

In a report for MediaShift, New York University journalism student Alana Taylor called on the institution up its game:

“I was hoping that NYU would offer more classes where I could understand the importance of digital media, what it means, how to adapt to the new way of reporting, and learn from a professor who understands not only where the Internet is, but where it’s going… I am convinced that I am taking the only old-but-new-but-still-old media class in the country,” she wrote.

Commenting on one particular class, ‘Reporting Gen Y (a.k.a. Quarterlifers)’, Taylor acknowledged the talent of her teacher Mary Quigley, but felt let down by the programme’s lack of understanding of social and digital media, twittering her frustration during class.

Taylor’s article prompted the inevitable split of comments between support and accusations of arrogance – a microcosmic version of the response to Tampa Bay intern Jessica da Silva on her blog.

But now Taylor has been told not to blog, Twitter or write about the class again without permission, according to an update from MediaShift.

In response to questions from MediaShift’s Mark Glaser, Quigley said her students were free to blog, twitter, email etc the class after it had finished – adding the caveat that they must ask permission before doing so.

Taylor seems to have been reined in unnecessarily – if her comments had been entirely in praise of the class, there would be no grounds for this blog post.

If NYU has a policy of classes being taught ‘off the record’ then surely this goes against the initiative, observation and analytical thinking that the school is trying to teach and instead discourages students from putting these skills into action?

For those commenters on Taylor’s original post accusing her of being a know-it-all – isn’t the university claiming the same thing if it doesn’t allow its students to freely give feedback like this?

Teachers from the course could instead have interacted with the criticism and opened up the discussion – who knows, other students might benefit from hearing about and witnessing Taylor’s social media experience first hand.

3 thoughts on “New York University journalism student banned from blogging on class

  1. Pingback: Update on Blogger « NYU Edit Board

  2. Amy Oliver

    An interesting post which I can relate to. Having blogged about my course I was picked up on a few posts – one rightly did need reeling in – but I think the college were not prepared for the brave new world of their students actually taking the initiative and talking about their experiences.

    In my mind being prickly about this issue can only highlight a stick-in-the-mud attitude further. If the report is fair and shows both sides as any good piece of journalism should then why not?

    There are millions of people blogging about how great, average or bloody awful things are. Everyone from a big brand to a small guest house by the sea is fair game and should expect it. Colleges should too. After all you pay to attend them, they are not paying you like an employer would be.

    Censoring and banning blogging in this way goes against every principle of good journalism which, ironically, the college is probably trying to teach.

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